South Korean President Park Geun-hye was impeached by parliament on Friday over an influence-peddling scandal! Park made her first public apology less than 2 months ago for involving a friend in state affairs. But lawmakers were not forgiving as 234 lawmakers, members of the National Assembly voted for impeaching the president. The vote came after intense street protests while thousands of people, outside parliament cheered at the news of the president’s impeachment. If the president is to be permanently removed from office by the constitutional court it could take up to half a year while snap elections will be called within two months. Prime minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn is set to become acting president, but since political uncertainty is now very high, South Korea’s defense minister has initiated a military alert plan.
Asian shares closed mixed due to the volatility caused by the European Central Bank’s decision to trim the size of its asset purchase program while also extending it for longer than many analysts had expected. The promise of lower rates for longer was taken as a green light for carry trades, in which investors essentially borrow euros at cheap rates to invest in higher yielding currencies. In today’s Asian Markets Nikkei 225 closed 1.2 percent higher, China A50 ended the day 1.5 percent higher while Hang Seng closed 0.5 percent lower and India’s Nifty is currently heading for the finishing line having added 0.2 percent as pf 8:30 GMT.
European Markets have been wobbling on Friday after the European Central Bank announced a nine-month extension of its massive bond-buying program. Meanwhile, in Italy, President Mattarella is consulting with political parties to find a solution to the ongoing political crisis while in the U.K., regulators are set to summon Citigroup officials to investigate the crash in sterling. In today’s European Markets most indices have been wobbling, DAX was last seen trading 0. 1 percent higher, FTSE 100 was last seen 0.2 percent higher, France’s CAC 40 also added 0.2 percent while the Euro Stoxx was last seen trading virtually flat as of 8:35 GMT.